If there’s a way to say I’m sorry, perhaps I’ll stay another evening, beside your door, and watch the moon rise, inside your window, where jewels are falling, and flowers weeping, and strangers laughing, because you’re dreaming that I have gone.
They sang a mix of what was called “folk” and “old-timey” music. There was the Carter family’s “Gold Watch and Chain,” Gordon Lightfoot’s “That’s What You Get for Lovin’ Me,” Richard and Mimi Farina’s “Children of Darkness.” It’s hard to imagine now, but for a while they were even pretty keen on John Denver. “Follow Me,” was the one they did best, or maybe it was “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane.” There were a lot of songs about love lost, as I think about it.
And if I don’t know why I’m going, perhaps I’ll wait beside the pathway where no one’s coming, and count the questions I turned away from, or closed my eyes to, or had no time for, or passed right over because the answers would shame my pride.
It happened more than once; in fact, they could almost depend on it happening. The song would be progressing along and then they’d both accidentally skip a verse – the same verse – or rearrange the lines – the same lines in the same way. Or they’d wind the tempo down impromptu and end a cappella. They never practiced enough to work those things out.
I’ve heard them say the word “forever”, but I don’t know if words have meaning, when they are promised in fear of losing what can’t be borrowed, or lent in blindness, or blessed by pageantry, or sold by preachers, while you’re still walking your separate ways.
During that time they were musical soul-mates. They might have been more, but in her heart of hearts she knew that music was only one piece of her, a piece that would be important but would not define her. He thought he knew her, but he didn’t really; he saw her through rose-colored glasses. She was self-centered and not altogether honest, sharing her musical soul with one man while her heart was shared with another.
Sometimes we bind ourselves together, and seldom know the harm in binding the only feeling that cries for freedom and needs unfolding, and understanding, and time for holding a simple mirror with one reflection to call your own.
The morning she left Norfolk, they kissed. It had been a late night and a long weekend, and in her exhaustion she momentarily confused which was heart and which was soul, where she was and who she was with. It was a kiss so hot and deep she still remembers it clearly, so hot and deep that it made her wonder if perhaps she could make music her life’s work, so hot and deep that she snapped from her foggy presence and drew away, knowing that not to do so quickly would lead her where it would be a mistake to go.
If there’s an end to all our dreaming, perhaps I’ll go while you’re still standing beside your door, and I’ll remember your hands encircling a bowl of moonstones, a lamp of childhood, a robe of roses, because your sorrows were still unborn.*
Old guitar strings and young hearts break, but life goes on. They went their separate ways and they each made their own music, and as she knew, it would be more a part of him than it ever was a part of her.
* “Reflections In A Crystal Wind” written by Richard Farina